Siskin Spinus spinus   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Carduelidae
BTO Codes: SK, SISKI EURING No: 16540
Number in Britain: 410 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
Length: 12 cm Wingspan: 22 cm Weight: M/F: 15 g    
Scientific name from: Gr.: spinos=a bird described by Aristophanes and others]
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia, WINTERS: south to s Europe, c Asia
Habitat: Woodland
Diet: Seeds esp spruce or pine, alder, birch, some invertebrates in summer
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 410 thousand Pairs in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Coniferous Wood
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 2 to 6 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(III), Bern(III)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 16 x 12 mm Egg Weight: 1.3 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 2
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs
Incubation: 12- 13 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 13 - 15days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.461    (M:0.476 ± 0.074; F:0.446 ± 0.085)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.449 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 8 years 1 months 27 days (set in 2001)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: A
Wing Length Adult: 72.6 ± 3.5 Range 70 - 76 mm, N =60879
Juvenile: 72.2 ± 1.9 69 - 75 mm, N =3637
Male: 73.5 ± 1.7 71 - 76 mm, N =34720
Female: 71.5 ± 4.7 69 - 74 mm, N =26091
Weight Adult: 12.92 ± 1.51 Range 11.40 - 14.90 g , N =51674
Juvenile: 12.33 ± 1.06 10.60 - 14.10 g , N =3107
Male: 13.03 ± 1.58 11.50 - 15.00 g , N =29236
Female: 12.77 ± 1.40 11.30 - 14.60 g , N =22380
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Eurasian Siskin
Previously Carduelis spinus
Gaelic: Gealag-bhuidhe Welsh: Pila Gwyrdd
Danish: Grřnsisken Dutch: Sijs
Finnish: Viherbarpunen French: Tarin des aulnes
German: Erlenzeisig Hungarian: Csíz
Icelandic: Barrfinka Irish: Siscín
Italian: Lucarino Norwegian: Grřnnsisik
Polish: Czyz zwyczajny Portuguese: Lugre
Spanish: Lúgano Swedish: Grönsiska
Local Names: Aberdevine, Barley-bird

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Newton, I. 1972 The finches Collins, London [598.982 NEW]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides